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Jonny Lee Miller,
A young Englishman plots revenge against his late cousin's mysterious, beautiful wife, believing her responsible for his death. But his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms.
Seeking to escape the stifling London court society, the beautiful headstrong Lady Dona St. Columb flees to her family estate on the Cornish coast. Her new freedom swiftly brings her into contact with the dashingly handsome French privateer Jean Aubrey who sweeps her off her feet and into a world of adventure on the high seas very different from her dull and boring life at court with her husband Sir Harry. Together with Jean Aubrey and her enigmatic servant William, Lady Dona conceives a daring plan to steal a ship right from under the noses of the English authorities. The theft enrages the authorities who make every effort to trap the French Pirate. However, as the noose begins to tighten around the lovers, Lady Dona is faced with the dilemma of duty and children with Sir Harry or freedom and excitement with Jean Aubrey.Written by
Mark Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Very disappointing. Charm and wit replaced by grime
I had really hoped to like this film, but I just could not.
It is one of those films trying to make a "dark and gritty" version of a story, but only succeed in omitting all that made the story good in the first place. At a quarter of the running time, I was already in despair. At half, I found that I could not force myself to endure any more of this crap. I never finished, and I don't think anything could induce me to waste my time with the second half.
There were a few things I liked :
* Harry, who was portrayed rather accurately.
* Rockingham, same. It surprised me. I thought that if they would botch a character it would be him. After all, how can you compare to any of Basil Rathbone's villains ? Well, you just can't. (I know, I am very biased towards Basil Rathbone ^^). But you can come very close, and I liked this one well enough.
Otherwise, the negatives :
* All the political and religious stuff, which distract from the main story without improving it.
* The Frenchman : I found him awful. Really awful. He's not an artist doodling birds anymore, except one in a book which looks terrible. He's not witty, he's not charming, he's just annoying and full of himself. I couldn't feel anything between him and Dona. I didn't watch the second half so it might chang later, but I doubt it. None of the interactions between him and Dona are memorable or witty, but just two unlikable people snapping at each other.
* Dona : As another reviewer wrote, she feels more like a street tart than a lady. She too lost all the wit she had in the book, and is frequently rude and mean-spirited instead. The prime example being how she deals with unwanted attentions or people who annoy her : "If you come near Navron I'll set the dogs after you !". And basically every conversation she has with... mostly everyone. And although she talks about her children, it didn't feel as though she was very fond of them.
* Henrietta : Oh dear, she was just terrible. In the book and 1944 version, she is too young to have much personality, and it's fine, because it is not her story. In this film, she just felt like she was written in order to make a point about religion making people worse.
* William : Another character drained of charm and wit for this movie.
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